Posted by: rogermitchell | January 5, 2020


Here’s a poem for reflection as we take our leave of the first decade of the 21st century from my friend David Benjamin Blower, posted by permission.

For all the days and nights been and gone
This last orbit around our star 93 millions miles
And about it all are the everlasting arms
Arms to hold
Not to control
Though we sometimes prayed that they would  

For every step taken on this turning sphere
On soil, rock, grass and composting life
Over concrete and tar-mac,
Amidst the discarded packaging for expired mis-creations
Across Lino and mundane patterned carpets, and buzzing appliances
With purpose and misgivings, contentment and want, thrill and boredom
Wherever we have placed our feet
We stand on the horizon in the eyes of some far-away other
and beneath us and them are the everlasting arms  

For the gentle tasks of being
The cleaning, washing, sweeping and clipping back
And putting things from here to there
The lighting of fires and the warming of ovens
Cutting and measuring and folding with singing 
Or silence
Or the recorded voices of others somewhere and sometime else
With many thoughts and cares
Or with spacious hearts open to the merry wind
Amidst all these – and they are a dance 
Amidst all these are the everlasting arms  

For all the struggling and rushing against time
And bags, and keys and tasks
From necessity, or from the wearying chain of command,
Or from the restlessness of gut and heart
In Sysyphan futility with aching bones
With no margin between work and sleep
And sleep and work
Because, why?
And Why? Because
And ever present to the often hollow beating drum are the everlasting arms  

For every moment we looked up at the day lit sky
To be with its plain light
To stop time for a moment and to be in all of it at once
By being out of it all for a moment
For all the silent drifting clouds, that say nothing, but know
For all that birds that flew by, knowing nothing, but were just were
For all the trees reaching upwards, truthful and content
Through them all are the everlasting arms  

For all the talk and noise around tables and desks 
And smoke and drink
Shouting against road traffic
Into phones and screens 
Stood with coffees in old halls
Sideways amidst sounds and voices and infants
Talking and shifting weight between the many threads of it all
Musical, joyous, noisy, saturating, ringing and tiring
For all the words shared with the other with care and thought
eyes into eyes and silences held
Shoulder to shoulder 
Guts uncoiled into landscapes
and breathing to the slow core
Bread broken and drink taken
Here too are the everlasting arms  

For every one of our given thoughts and gestures thrown back to us
Or passed by as a nothingness, unheard
For the closed down spaces and thoughtless encroachments
Or the outright theft of place and presence by belligerent will 
Who knew what they were doing
Or did not know
Or both somehow at once
Amidst all of this are the everlasting arms  

For every careless mark we made
And every dent we left behind us
For the ones we left feeling heavier than when we found them
left lighter headed and ringing with the sound of us
For when we knew it, and when we wandered off unaware and hapless
Present to all these are the everlasting arms  

For the numbing hollow granite gut
The heart gone hard and cold, the knot
The breath that goes in and out from some hellish nowhere
Where nothing has its mooring
And everything calls to nothing and stares vacantly
Here in hell too, weak, immoveably present, are the everlasting arms

For every room we closed the door
And slid backs down it to the ground
To place heads in hands and fall apart unseen
For the rare howl and bellow into pillows
Into the nights, the earth, the elements
Faces lodged in elbow crooks to calm
And gentle about us always the everlasting arms  

For the days and the times when we have
Sailed our broken boats close to the edge of the world
Because, so the wind lead us, and we needed to feel and to know it
Dubious, fey, mad,
Gambling with God, who seems also to gamble madly everyday
And when we went over the edge into oblivion and dread 
And into new worlds beyond where there are healing tears
Here also are the everlasting arms  

For the moments we rested our attention on the stars
And were held by their wonder
Are they there for us, or are they just there?
We are lit by them either way
And they suspend the sound and the fury, 
And hold us for a time in deep time  

For all the days and nights been and gone
This last orbit around our star 
And the 93 millions miles next to come
And about all of this are the everlasting arms
Arms to hold
Not to control
Though we sometimes pray that they would
And yet, it is said, all things work somehow for the good.

Love, laughter and Wonder


  1. Good to be reminded that through it all the everlasting arms hold it all….creation, life. Happy New Year,

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